• STEP 1

    Lightly oil a baking tray. Tip the gram flour and plain flour into a mixing bowl. Stir through it with clean fingers to aerate and combine.

  • STEP 2

    Melt the ghee in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Gradually add the flour mix and keep stirring. The flour needs to toast to take away the raw taste of the gram flour. Reduce the heat slightly and keep stirring for around 20 mins. Sprinkle in the ground cardamom and saffron, and mix well. The colour will change slightly to a deeper yellow and the texture will be crumbly. Once cooked, break up any big lumps with a spatula, leave to cool for a few minutes, then sift through a sieve to remove any large lumps. Break these down and sift again. Set aside.

  • STEP 3

    Pour 100ml water into a medium saucepan and sprinkle in the sugar. Bring to a simmer over a medium-low heat, then turn the heat to low to cook for around 25 mins until the syrup is thick and the mixture has become deep yellow.

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, tip the flour and ghee mixture into a large mixing bowl. Once the syrup has thickened, gradually pour into the flour mixture, keeping a wooden spoon in one hand and constantly mixing. Threads of sugar should become visible. While the mixture is warm, put it into the oiled baking tray. Spread evenly until it's about 1½ inches thick. Sprinkle over the chopped pistachios and press in with the palms of your hands.

  • STEP 5

    Shape into a rectangle and use a sharp knife to cut into 3cm squares while still warm. It should hold together but be quite crumbly in texture when you bite into it. Serve at room temperature and enjoy. Will keep in an airtight container for one week.

Recipe tip

Indian sweets are part of the culture and way of life in India. There are sweet shops in most roads and alleys in all parts of India. The sweet industry is always thriving as sweets are served at functions, festivals and in general daily life. Greeting your guest with an Indian sweet is considered auspicious. The varieties that are made are so vast and each type varies in all regions of the country. The humble saon papdi, however, has been around for decades now, and Indians always have childhood memories of devouring this crunchy, crumbly sweet.

Soan papdi/patisa is made from sugar, ghee, besan (gram flour) and flour along with some whole spices. Making it is fun to watch and it takes years of practice to create the finest quality. This recipe is an easier way of making the traditional soan papdi, where hundreds of sugar threads are made and mixed with the gram and plain flour mixture. However, the ingredients are the same for both.

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